Amid all the talk of MPs’ expenses, the bigger question often goes unanswered: What kind of democracy do we want?
If we truly want a politics that attracts the brightest and the best, we must pay our politicians a salary similar to other professionals, and cover the costs of their offices, their staff, their correspondence, and their travel.
Doctors, secondary headmasters, and senior local government officers all earn more than MPs.
Indeed, the chief executive of Lincolnshire County Council earns more than £60,000 per year – more than the Prime Minister!
What would the alternative to funding MPs look like? Cutting the cost of MPs would make politics the preserve of the wealthy alone.
That is not what I want to see, and nor should anyone who cares about the future of our democracy.
We are lucky to have an MP who is highly respected by people of all political views, because he works so hard on our behalf.
John Hayes makes no secret of the fact that he made the journey from a working-class background to working in No. 10 Downing Street.
If that isn’t rising to the top on merit, not wealth, I don’t know what is.
Deeping St James